Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A brand new bag (2 FOs!)

I've been itching to sew lately. Making the placemat was just a teaser. My fabric stash is nothing when compared to my yarn stash, but I've got plenty to tide me over for several projects (and I just bought some more today *cough cough*). Sunday, I started browsing through Angry Chicken's book, which I love (it's so cute!), and found a simple tote bag. I happened to have two coordinating My Folklore fabrics, and I started pressing, cutting, and almost had the bag done after a couple of hours. I left the straps for last night, as my back was starting to hurt (shame on me-bad posture!).

Orange is really starting to grow on me

I LOVE the fabric (in fact, that is one of the patterns I bought more of today).

The inside with a pocket on each side

I'm very sloppy with my mother's machine (what I'm using right now). I'm still getting used to it. I can see myself making more of these bags, as they don't use much fabric, and they're highly customizable. Right now, my little bag is under my desk at work, and it holds the hat I'm making for Jill to match her cowl.

Progress as of last night

This weekend, I also finished up the wristwarmers for Jill's hostess (for the family she'll be staying with in Kazakhstan).

Details:
Symmetrical Braided Gauntlets (Ravelry download), by Rachel Calado
Yarn: Plymouth Galway, 0.5 skein in natural, undyed
Needles: Size 7 Knitpicks dpns
Time: About a month, but each glove only took a couple of days
These are a nice, quick gift knit. I will probably rely on this pattern during the holidays.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Newlyweds


Chocolate covered bride and groom

My mother got married last night. Bill and my Cindy have been together nearly five years, and they couldn't be happier.

Bliss

Since Jill is leaving in a month for the peace corps, the wedding was only two weeks after they announced their engagement. My mother's boss even asked if she was pregnant, or if there was some other reason for a shotgun wedding.

Neither Bill, nor Cindy wanted a big wedding, so it was a simple ceremony, in their backyard, with dinner, wine and cake afterwards.

Chocolate sin

The chocolate cake was so rich, but delicious, but my favorite was the amaretto cream white cake.

The wedding was so sweet and simple. I'm so happy for my mother, and Jill and I were glad to be a part of it.

Of course, there was plenty of silliness during the day.


Like mother, like daughters

Dean was there, as well as my new extended family.

Love

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gonna eat a lot of peaches

A neighbor gave me a bag of fresh peaches from the farmer's market, and Dean begged for some cobbler, so last night after work, I whipped one up.

Before it meets heat

I used a recipe for a quick crust, since it was a weeknight. You melt the butter in the dish first, then pour a batter containing milk in the pan, and put the peaches on top. The crust bakes up around the peaches. And of course, you can't eat it without a scoop of vanilla.

The cobbler required less peaches than I thought, so I decided to serve some with goat cheese and fresh basil. I also blended some with rum, ice, and agave honey.

Millions of peaches, peaches for me

After stuffing myself with peaches in liquid and solid forms, I finished up Jill's peachy cowl (fitting, no?). Even though I made her the scarf, Jill requested something she could pull up over her nose, and a cowl seemed perfect for this.

Millions of peaches, peaches for free

Details:
Philly Cowl, by splityarn
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, Peach Tree
Needles: Size 8, Knitpicks Circular (knit flat)
Time: 5 days
I loved this pattern. The stitches, although a little confusing at first, quickly develop into a satisfying pattern. The original called for one full repeat plus half of a second, but I was satisfied with the height of the cowl, so I only did one full repeat. I found some cute pink buttons to finish it off.

I can't wait to have more cobbler tonight!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jill's big adventure (photos now fixed)

My sister is a brave one. She's made some choices in her life that scare me, but that also inspire me. A few years ago, she went on a mission trip to Guatemala. She worked in an orphanage, helping to renovate the place, playing with the kids, and making them feel special. My family was wary of her going, but she was determined, she went, and it was a great experience.

Jill with Pinocchio

She just completed her Masters coursework in social work, and she's decided that her next adventure will be with the Peace Corps. She leaves next month, and she'll be living in Kazakhstan for two years.

While my family and I will miss her terribly, this is going to be an amazing experience for her. I don't expect her to return unchanged, and I know this will challenge her in ways we can't foresee.

Jill, my grandparents and mom at her college graduation

I'm rather envious of this choice she's made. Only in the broadest sense, and I think that's a human reaction. Mostly, I'm honored to be her sister, and lucky she's part of my world.

Dad, Jill and I at her college graduation

A few more of my favorite Jiller pictures, because I can:

On the farm

A favorite of mom and Jill

Hilarity

Sisters

Thursday, July 10, 2008

FOs and the Fourth

One of my favorite places is my grandparents' farm, in Proctor, Texas. It's out in the middle of nowhere. The "town" has about 75 residents, a beer barn, a bait shop, a church and a post office.

They have hundreds of acres, most of which is just left to nature at the moment, but it's just gorgeous. They have lots of animals, mostly tended by my aunt and uncle, who live just down the road.

One thing they never run out of is puppies! My aunt and uncle breed border collies (seen above), Great Pyrenees, German Shorthair Pointers, collectively, they are all breeds for hunting and farming assistance. Our favorite thing to do is play with the puppies when we visit. They spend lots of time with the pups, training them and just giving them love.

Who could resist that face? (excuse the blur, but puppies are fast!)

This weekend, I enjoyed a quick, but wonderful visit to my grandparents' place for our annual family reunion on the 4th (or 5th, in this case). It was a blast, just hanging out with family outside, eating good food and enjoying each other.

I got to talk knitting with several cousins who also knit and crochet. They were impressed with how much I've learned in the past year.

I worked on Jill's My So-called scarf while I was there, and I finished weaving in the ends last night.
Details:
My So-called scarf, by Allison Isaacs
Yarn: Rustic Wool by Queensland Collection, 2.3 skeins (about 230 yards)
Needles: Size 10 straights (pattern calls for 10.5 or 11, but I used the biggest ones I've got)
Time: 2 months, at knit night, on my lunch break
I originally started this as a christmas present, just to get ahead on gifts, but my sister is actually going to be able to use it sooner than that, so now it's for her. More on that next time.

For now, I've got another non-knitting FO to show you. I took some fabric up to my grandmother's (I have a machine of my own, but I haven't touched it lately) and sewed up a quick placemat.
It's two-sided, each side in a different fabric, and I sewed it up using some binding. It was really easy and only took about 45 minutes or so. I planned on making a set, but I ran out of time. Hopefully, I will be able to sit down at my machine soon to make some more.

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